"I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn't say any other way – things I had no words for." Georgia O'Keeffe
A large part of our work at CIWY is about community engagement – spreading the word about what we do both locally and nationally. And what better way to do this than through art and education?
This programme is open to practising artists who want to further their development through research in the field, living and working in collaboration with our conservationists, veterinarians, scientists, volunteers and – of course – the forest and its animals. We are keen for artists to have the opportunity to experience and observe life on a frontline conservation project, whilst at the same time helping us to disseminate our work.
We accept enquiries from artists working in all mediums, from writing and painting to sculpture and performance. There are two positions available on a yearly basis, for a period of between six to ten weeks.
We would hope that each new residency placement results in:
• The production of new creative work
• The development of an artist’s creative practice
• The development of CIWY’s aims through creative thinking
• Funds raised for the essential day-to-day running of CIWY
• Community engagement through workshops and exhibitions
• Opportunities to collaborate and develop new partnerships
Please note that conditions on the residency are basic:
• You will be living and working in the jungle, in a tropical and humid environment.
• We are only able to offer a basic, makeshift studio.
• Your first two weeks will be spent working as a normal volunteer - getting to know the organisation, the work we do and helping to look after the animals in our care.
• After two weeks you will be able to focus on your artistic development. However, you will still be required to dedicate approximately 30-40% of your time to assisting in the day-to-day running of the centre and helping care for the animals.
• You will need to fund your own travel to Bolivia. At Parque Ambue Ari food and board will be provided during your residency. At Parque Machia only accommodation and lunch will be provided; you will need to buy your own breakfast and dinner.
• A letter of application indicating:
1. Why you are interested in this opportunity
2. What your interest is in this area, and initial outline proposals for the development of your own work
3. How you would propose spending your time
4. Your experience in working with communities and any police disclosure
5. How your residency would help raise our profile and/or funds for our work
• Appropriate supporting material to demonstrate the quality of your work – e.g. a CV and a minimum of six images/video / written material
• Two references – one should be a community project
Our latest artists in residence, Silvia and Viktor are already back home.
We are looking forward to the final result of the residency: the creation of a illustrated book for children that tells the stories of some of the animals, and photos and videos that especially show the work done by staff and volunteers at Ambue Ari. We are also planning an exhibition of this same material to demonstrate the work, but more than anything to raise awareness about wildlife trafficking.
Peru Galbete, a singer-songwriter from the Basque country, spend several months singing, playing and recording in the jungle. Voces de la selva, concluded in an album of 13 songs inspired by the animals and sounds of the jungle, as well as a small tour with the first concert in mARTadero.
The music was created and recorded in the jungle of Parque Machia (Villa Tunari, Chapare) between November 2016 and January 2017 and got mixed and mastered in Cochabamba by Pi Producciones. The album will be on sale in bandcamp as well as in the main CIWY office in Villa Tunari.
Colm Moore as a great fan of photography and drones. He spent two months in Ambue Ari and Machia working and experimenting with photographs and video, showing CIWY and his animals from different perspectives.
He is now working to finish the last videos which show the histories of our animals.
Check out Colm's video about Marley, one of our resident pumas at Machia.
Bàrbara, is a Spanish writer, is a writer from Spain. Her artistic project is a collection of illustrated short stories that show what is and how started CIWY, as well as what they work and fight for. “The first I did was chatting with Nena, the CIWY president, based in Machia. I learned about the huge problem of animal trafficking and we shared ideas on how to successfully communicate the work and values of CIWY in the book. I got to know many anecdotes from these 20 years of CIWY history that I’ll use as the base for stories”. Bàrbara used her time for the project to perform an extensive documentation. She collected old news and images from the animals and volunteers of CIWY, the animals’ stories before and after arriving at the parks, and she chatted with the volunteers about the animals and their experiences working with them. She also wrote some drafts as firsts ideas for the short stories of the book.
JP is a healthcare professional as well as a passionate photographer. He spent six weeks at Parque Ambue Ari experimenting with new photographic techniques, and trying to capture the individual personalities of the animals and the essence of the jungle in a raw like manner.
JP is particularly interested in the plight of the majestic and elusive jaguar (Panthera onca). During his residency he aimed to produce a combination of images to illustrate the beauty and strength of this powerful carnivore and to highlight the importance of the conversation work that CIWY carries out.
JP is currently organising a photographic exhibition in Melbourne, Australia. One that will raise awareness about the plight of the jaguar and of CIWY's work.
Jennifer spent two and a half months at Parque Ambue Ari, where she divided her time between looking after Juancho the jaguar (Panthera onca), Cucu & Petey, two night monkeys (Aotus azarae), and producing a wealth of artwork inspired by the animals and environment. She worked in ink, photography, watercolour and charcoal.
At the end of her residency Jennifer secured a space in the city of Santa Cruz (Bolivia) to exhibit her work. The exhibition ran from the end of November to the beginning of December at the Kiosko Gallery. It was a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about our work. Photos from Jennifer's Santa Cruz exhibition can be found on our Facebook page.
Jennifer also auctioned off a number of pieces of artwork to volunteers, which raised over Bs. 15,000.
Upon her return to the UK, Jennifer also held an exhibition of work produced during and inspired by her time at Ambue Ari. Her exhibition 'To the Trees: A Changing of Home' was held at the ONCA Gallery in Brighton (UK) and ran from 18th September – 12th October 2014. Exhibited work included ink portraits of different monkey species, large scale oil paintings of the forest and an installation of 600 small photographs of logging trucks. Photos from Jennifer's Brighton exhibition can be found on our Facebook page and video clips from Jennifer's Artist's talk can be found on our YouTube channel.
Bethan was our very first Artist in Residence. She spent a month at Parque Machía and created a number of drawings and sculptures of the animals, many of which were auctioned off to raise funds.
One of Bethan's sculptural pieces was later exhibited at Inca Tek Ecosystem Festival in Peru, helping to raise awareness of our work. The sculpture now resides in the garden of The Healing House in Cusco, Peru.
More photos of Bethan's artwork can be found on our Facebook page.
Banner photo: Jennifer Hooper
Friends of Inti Wara Yassi (FIWY) is our sister organization in the UK. They have been a major source of support since their founding in 2008. Find out more about FIWY here.
Quest Overseas organizes gap year trips for British and international students. Since 2001, Quest has worked with CIWY to bring much needed volunteers and funds. If you are interested in the programs they have with us, find out more here.